Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Poem ____________________ David Mason

 A Mathematical Abecedarian Poem

 

A problem is to calculate the

Beta function at alpha = 1/2, where it is

Continuous, has a transcendental value and is

Divisible by Beta at 3/2.

 

Easy enough using

Familiar properties of this function.

Galois theory does not come into play nor do

Hilbert spaces and their special properties.

 

Jordan curves should be avoided. You might get sucked into a

Klein bottle and never get out.

Latin squares may befuddle you or

Manifolds on Lie groups.

 

Never try to understand

Ordinary differential equations without

Practice in Fourier analysis and knowledge of

Quaternion valued matrices.

 

Riemannian metrics are essential in talking about

Space that is very curvy.

Time and time again they are

Useful in describing unexpected worlds.

 

Vector spaces are helpful too

When defining one’s  place in space.

Xeno did not know about them when he fashioned his paradox.

Yet it confused philosophers long ago. By the way, this poem has

Zero mathematical meaning.

E. Martin Pederson _______________ four poems


The Beauty of Books on a Shelf

 

pinetrees at the edge of the forest

ready to be felled

pickets in a fence

always white

dandelions in the grass

in a seaside town

in salty Maine

creases in a thick curtain

in the projection room (industrial marketing shorts)

the bored room

junior & senior yes women & men yesyesyes

coats on a rack

in the room in the back

where I am sent

for snickering

during story-time

in Miss Soite's fifth grade

and in the scoutmaster's mind

boy scouts ideally rigid

baseball bats leaning on a cyclone fence

then tall glasses on the bar

bottles in a supermarket with cartoon labels

in alphabetical order

one by one.

 

The Chill of the Sierra

 

is not cold

the sun's out

the night was damp

and the night was cold

the frost is cold

but now there's only a chill

the brisk air

the smell of granite

floor of duff

air you'd want

to share

in advertising

 

I can feel that fresh air

anywhere

everywhere

any and everywhere

 

 

Curse Immortality

 

There’s a sad sigh of relief at the end of every job

Like summer

Like a sealed vault at the end of a hallway

I’m glad to move the train, leaving another station behind

I only wish it would never end

This curse of immortality.

 


A Life Saved is a Life Earned

 

Everything around us is dust

we’ve only got each other

I will never let you out of my sight

ever again, all my days.

 

You are mine or I yours

proper and appropriate

went down with the cathedral

on the believers’ heads.

 

Never to separate, claustrophobic

two as one inside the other

I will never break my promise

you wear yellow rubber boots.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Poem _____________________ Deanna Scott

 

Changing Seasons

 

Trampling on shining sumac 

Sitting at the edge of the meadow

The trees hummed a soft melody at the end of fall

Winter responded by grabbing the baton

I didn’t know I was ready

The last of the shrubs forming a colony with shiny leaves Resembling the birds flying 

Stop worrying

I will always protect your gentle footsteps

A cluster of red berries fell on my head

Silly girl

This is the easiest transition

Fall leaves turn scarlet red

Allow things to come

Accept the universe’s treasure

As nature rotates 

The gift of seasons. 

 

 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

David Gilmour __________________ two poems

 

 

DREAM-DOG

 

 

Say, it was vivid! -- akin to something --

Someone alive and kicking.

I know I should have caught that 4:11 am

Dream lingering at the empty platform,

When I sat bolt upright, I saw myself

As if myself saw me in the high-

Density reflective mirror of that world.

A crisis whether to arise,

Dress, eat, and climb aboard the blank page;

Whether to drop back down the rabbit's hole to sleep.

 

Had it, fed it, bled it, died!

Alas, that frisky puppy of a dream-dog

Up and abandoned me. Carried on a carriage,

Taken on the brain-train,

Chuffing on down those serpentine tracks

Until the rails went skew,

Now's blowing smoke in distant fields

Where poetic frogs used to croak.

 

Through channels reamed by rumination,

The barge hangs by some mooring post,

Along by now a narrow ditch, a psychic lair

Where something more than frog was spawned,

Where it's at home,

Like simple souls a while ago,

Who chattered, smoked, and sipped green tea

Over yellow formica breakfast tables,

Morning sun in streams of gold,

Through the hazy kitchen windows.

 

 

 

TRANCE FORMATION

 

The cosmic picture or the uncosmetic chaos

Is pressed by the spirit of Life

Upon the walls of its own awareness.

Rainbow arcs, moon above the pyramids,

Cliff faces, glassy mountain ribs.

The listener might see a spectral fragment,

The large red,

A lamp glowing upon a triangular plane,

A rough stone, tragic ledges,

A dead drop into blue chasms.

 

Nature’s mass can be reordered:

Coherent line, measure, form, and word.

The singer’s synesthetic eye,

A wild iris, savage thought.

A maelstrom of meanings:

Pristine is white,

Black is pure, men are wheat,

Women violets with a deep, deep core.

Raven, a nightjar,

And a sign of spring—cuckoo!

 

All concocted transformations,

Laden galleons sailing across classifications

To an unknown shore,

The blades from bristling pines

Palming the foaming eddies,

Skimming across orders

To an ineffable shore,

Down to earth experience,

Amber and frankincense.

 

Out they fly from the cave of dreams,

Carlsbad-like gusts of plumage,

Beauties once worn by cargo cultists

Now extinct in paradise

In faraway Sarawak.

 

Soaring,

Focusing on all divine planes,

Swift squadrons,

Drawing evening in,

 

John Grey _____________________ three poems

 

I HAVE BUT ONE TRUE HOME

 

Here is the house in which I lived.

There is the quiet spot

where I could inhabit the darkness,

a womb where I was moved into

after my mother’s could no longer hold me.

Other people live there now.

A woman waters the garden.

Kids play in the yard.

A small dog barks at me,

like I’m some burglar casing the joint.

I’m really casing the past,

a different dog, different woman,

and one of those kids,

the smallest one, is me.

The eyes have done their job.

Now memory takes over.


THE TRUCKS AT NIGHT

I'm going home to sleep
but who knows where they're headed.
Sleep could be Richmond or Pittsburgh,
and maybe there's no sleep,
just uppers and the monotony
of route 95.
Maybe there's a truck stop or two
along the way
where they can park these roaring behemoths
and pass the dead of night
with fellow creatures,
taste the coffee,
see the trips they've made,
have still to make,
in the red of other trucker's eyes.
I think I've got it bad
until I read of miners stuck in hell-holes,
chemical workers breathing cancer
on the job,
or see these weary road knights
rattling down the highway,
full tank of diesel,
head almost on empty.

 

WHY TRY TO CHANGE ME


I share an apartment with a gelded dog.

I was in a long-term relationship.

It broke up a year ago.

Her mother was a harridan of the old school.


I did the best I could for her.

Not enough of course.

And I do see her now and then

at the local hangouts,

We refer to ourselves as friends.

(We’re not really but there is

no personal noun to go with indifferent.)

 

My dog looks on me

as everything there is

and more besides.

And I was the one who had him fixed.

I was once shacked up with

a series of misunderstandings.

Now I live with an irony.

Once I was on my own.

With no nouns to speak of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

John Gorski -------------- three poems

 

Questioning Poets

 

Queries for Keats

 

Why did you walk through twenty-five

miles of November rain

in a flimsy springtime waistcoat,

immune to thoughts insane?

Did you think death was no more

than a laudanum dream –

an apparition murmuring

of that not fully seen?

 

But you knew it had arrived

like the Italian sun

in your fevered rooms in Rome

of breathless consumption.

Did you ever hear portents

in the nightingale’s song

that you wouldn’t live to Wordsworth’s age

or even half as long?

 

A Query for Clare

 

Why did bird song stay in your head

from Emmingsale’s heath

where Night Jars called and the hawk

whistled like a thief?

You didn’t heed the cold-eyed

men of science in London

who peered through the sterile glass

at the corpses of robins.

 

Ignorant henchmen of commerce

lived in that city,

their black thorn hearts icy toward

avian poetry.

How could they hear other bird tunes

as nightingale music

which you still heard within the walls

that housed lunatics?

 

2021                                         John Gorski

 

 

Childhood Idles

 

Teddy Bricks, my one-time ursine companion,

slouches in a corner chair – his faded green

vest and feathered Robin Hood cap askew.

His metal limbs are old and twisted.

When I wind him up, he can no longer

execute his mechanical somersaults.

Sad in disrepair, he commiserates

with my sister’s bear, Teddy Bebe,

who’s grown pudgy and moth eaten.

 

Now they rest in the spent morning’s

shadows, as I reach for my shoe box

of baseball cards. I shuffle the smiles

and stances of Walt Dropo, Elroy Face,

Ted Kluzewski and Yogi Berra through my hands.

 

After lunch, I go out to our back yard

with my bat and rubber ball and pretend

to be Gene Woodling – the only Baltimore

Oriole hitting over 2.60. I’m swinging

for the fences (sixty feet away) and

trying to hit that red orb all the way

to Glen Burnie (a half mile away).

 

Through the kitchen window, the Coasters

harmonizing “Young Blood” draws me out

of that August Maryland swelter to drop

a lemon-lime Fizzie in a glass of ice water.

Then, I look through my collection

of Rhythm and Blues trading cards

to see if I can find one of The Coasters

among Laverne Baker, Little Richard and Elvis.

 

At twelve years, I finally learn

to ride a bicycle and pedal out

with my friends to beaches on the Severn River.

There, I watch sails billow over glittering

liquid blue towards Chesapeake Bay.

 

2021                                                       John Gorski

 

 

 

Hamilton County Purgatory

 

    “He would have convicted Jesus Christ too,” the thirtyish

Corrections official exclaimed when he saw me enter

the third floor of the Hamilton County jail. I had just come

from the Common Pleas court of Donald White where I was

found guilty of possession of marijuana – still a felony in 1970.

    I guess I looked innocent in my suit and tie and Ivy League

short hair. I said, “ I think I’ll get probation because I’m

going to college.” “So, you’re smarter than the average bear,”

he shot back, using the culturally dated TV lingo typical of the

Ohio River valley.

     Then a guard escorted me to my cell and I met the other

occupant, who was waiting to be remanded to a hospital

for the criminally insane. Other detainees drifted into my cell

over the next twelve days. Some would be going to the Ohio pen.

Some asked if I had brought any weed with me. Of course, I hadn’t

since “I was smarter than the average bear.”

     During that time, I met an assortment of interesting people. One

of them was in for smuggling. He was from my high school and a first

string member of the basketball team. He told me about my senior

class president who got busted with two others for smashing a plastic

statue of a llama in a city park. The llama was stuffed with

packets of hashish. Another was a member of a motorcycle gang

who discussed the merits of eating grasshoppers. One got drunk

and forged a check.

     One day, the warden let us watch an old black and white B movie

from the forties. In it, a gang of convicts were on a train chugging

over an elevated railroad bridge when one of them was thrown

from the train. Everyone cheered.

     On Sundays, Top 40 radio was piped in over the public address

system. Melanie wailed “Candles in the Rain” while someone said:

“That white girl sounds kind of weak; why can’t they play Aretha.”

Then Norman Greenbaum was singing “Spirit in the Sky.” I closed

my eyes and saw myself in a dark earthen cellar, looking up at

a door flooding with white light. It reminded me of reading

Pilgrim’s Progress where the pen and ink sketched sun seemed

to expand at the end of every chapter.

     Then one day the guard said I was getting out tomorrow. The next

morning, the “key” arrived in the form of a probation officer. It seemed

“The Curse of Harry Anslinger” was beginning to lift and the 1930’s era

marijuana laws were receding.

     Then my father arrived and we rode into a pulsing March morning of

of rainy light. After two weeks in windowless halls, it lifted me in a rhapsody.

That night the purgatory of jailed voices vanished from my sleep.

 

2021                                                                                         John Gorski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, January 7, 2022

"The Warsaw Pact" by Koon Woon

 

The Warsaw Pact

 

There are losers from Eastern Europe living in this apartment building, as well as Asians, and Blacks and a couple of indigenous people. We are sometimes a conflicting community. But the Whites, albeit poor, rule. The Russian is seldom home for this reason? I am China-born Chinese and my age should command respect, but it doesn’t. Things are not like they are in the old country.

 

In some ways, this is a Jean-Paul Sartre story. There are a few viable exits and so we wait for Godot. Sometimes one can smell death coming on and sometimes one can narrow it down to which of the nine floors. And when an occupant is not seen for a prolonged period of time, their worried relatives will find a putrefying mess in that room. And so it goes, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

 

It seems though that the formula 3% Chinese living here is both admired and resented. According to Emily the Black lady with one functioning eye, the Whites and the Chinese got all the money. It could be so, but the Chinese who don’t play along with the white agenda remain in Chinatown, where massage parlors mushroom in recent times when smuggled aliens are well hidden in the Chinatown conclave where the police seldom assess unless it is horrendous enough of a crime such as Wah Mee.

 

There are all kinds of misconceptions here, of course. Approximately half of the people here are disabled and of those, half are mentally ill, and the other half are seniors enough they either don’t care or unable to care. But it is like Roethke’s “Root Cellar,” the Congress of stink here struggles to survive.

 

(To be continued…)

 

- Koon Woon

January 7, 2022

 

 

Poem ____________________ David Mason

  A Mathematical Abecedarian Poem   A problem is to calculate the Beta function at alpha = 1/2, where it is Continuous, has a transcendental...